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Act 1 establishes that the play is full of opposites, extremes, contrasting atmospheres and emotions. Explain how these are illustrated in Act 1 and what effect they have on the characters and their actions. Refer to text in detail.

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Introduction

18th April 2002 Heather Hussey Act 1 establishes that the play is full of opposites, extremes, contrasting atmospheres and emotions. Explain how these are illustrated in Act 1 and what effect they have on the characters and their actions. Refer to text in detail. Act 1 introduces many characters, these characters have extremely distinct personalities, which creates diversity and gives a wide verity of contrasting atmospheres this keeps the audience attention. The range of atmospheres can change from bawdy humour to poetic language. Act 1 establishes that some of the characters have a fatalistic approach to life. Act 1 scene 1 begins with a very dramatic opening and the writer uses his characters Sampson and Gregory to portray a humorous atmosphere for the audience 'I will push Montague's men from the wall, and thrust his maids to the wall.' This line in particular, not only shocks the audience but also adds bawdy humour to the play. Shakespeare uses this line to convey Sampson and Gregory as being boastful and superior to the Montague's. Shakespeare in this scene creates an atmosphere of excitement for the audience and this keeps the audience interested. The tone drastically changes when two Montague's enter the scene, which emphasises the extremes of Act1. ...read more.

Middle

Romeo agrees to go for Benvolio but he will not enjoy himself 'But to rejoice in splendour of mine own.' Shakespeare introduces a humorous, loud and bawdy character, the Nurse, in scene 3 for example for example 'Now by my maidenhead at twelve year old, I babe her come. What, lamb! What, ladybird!' Lady Capulet is portrayed as a serious character that is distant from Juliet for example 'Thou knowest my daughter's pretty age.' Lady Capulet doesn't even know her daughters' age where the Nurse does. These characters are different and create contrast. Lady Capulet and the Nurse agree that Juliet should marry Paris because he is from a good, wealthy family 'So shall you share all that he doth possess, by having him, making you no less.' Shakespeare gives the Nurse along speech to help develop her character. The speech is comedy and its about Juliet's childhood, and how the Nurse and her husband used to joke about her sexuality for example 'And yet I warrant it had upon it brow a bump as big as a young cock'rel's stone.' Juliet's relationship with the Nurse is like mother and daughter, because the weaned her and brought her up and Juliet has a lot of respect for her. ...read more.

Conclusion

The possibility of death is made more than likely in Act 1 as Juliet makes her speech on the balcony, this conveys to the audience what could happen in the future. William Shakespeare introduces a variety of characters to create diversity. Nearly all of the main characters are introduced, and they are all different by personalities and reactions. There is a obvious difference between the younger and older generations such as Tybalt and Lord Capulet deciding what to and with Romeo at the banquet. The settings in Act 1 are constantly changing to hold the interest of the audience. They can change from a poor market street to a rich banquet hall. This is so the different classes can see how each others way of life. Shakespeare uses a variety of writing techniques in his language. Blank verses are used to create variety of atmosphere. He uses an iambic pentameter, which is a verse with ten syllables. When he wants to emphasise certain lines he uses rhyming couplets to emphasise the point. A sonnet is used between Romeo and Juliet, to explain their love. All these techniques helped to create contrast. The audience would of stayed interested in the play even though they were standing up for two hours and it is because of the variety of techniques and dramatic performance. ...read more.

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